Thursday, March 28, 2013

40 some days

My days as a free spirit, doing nothing but run and play all day are over :-)

In 40 some days I am starting how to prepare for school and racing? Or just school? Or do I even have time to do anything else?

During my quest to find a program in health care I also looked into PT programs in a addition to nursing...but the thought of going to school for 3 years full time, 8-5, summer and winter - that just didn't sound right for me. I think Nursing will be a great fit to combine my love for health care with my love for sports.

I am so so happy that I got into this very fast paced nursing program at NAU. Most accelerated programs are either super expensive or they go for up to 2 years. NAU is a one year program, done in May 2014. And it is affordable (some of the programs I explored at other schools were up to 50.000 $ a year) - no sitting on loans.

Now the only question was: will I have enough time to train? Swim, bike and run? 

Yesterday I signed up for my classes and to my surprise I have a day off every week :-) Classes will be held Mon/Tue/Wed and Fri, with all except for Friday being half days. I really like what I hear so far...I know in any accelerated program there will be lots of "out-of-classroom" work, but I am ready. It might take me a while to get adjusted to the new schedule but I truly believe that I can add a few triathlons for my fall break (August 8th-28th).

Luckily being a student in Flagstaff also means I have access to the track, to a brand new fitness center where I can work on my strength, flexibility or fit in a speed session on the treadmill, and a 50 meter pool that I can go to for free.

So guess what: I bought a hiking backpack that I will go to school with. So I have room for everything from books to swimsuit :-) I thought about using my ZOOT Transition bag...

Maybe I will turn into one of those kids that lives at the library...or I will do all my studying in the gym and just live there...

Anyways as of now, my racing schedule looks like I will be running in races until August and then I will jump into some Olympic and Halfironman races. Thankfully the summer in Flagstaff is beautiful and I can exercise at any time of the day. And hopefully the 7000 ft elevation will give me an extra boost while racing.

Monday, March 25, 2013

News time

Phoenix is getting hotter by the day again. Time to escape. Even the phone has already had enough and showed me this screen:

ZOOT is working on the 2014 collection and they are in full speed fun and fast mode. Here are the future KIAWE's, the best racing flat on the market!!!

The Xterra AZ trail running season has come to an end. Already. Some states probably haven't even started. We finished off the 4th race with a 13 mile run to Rock Springs also known as Pie town...

Post race world famous JACK DANIELS PECAN PIE

After being sick for three weeks it was probably not the smartest idea to race, so instead I just ran for fun, talked to friends and had a fun time on the beautiful trail that included two river crossings. I got away with the age group win and the series win for my age group :-) YAY

The ZOOT trail shoes are the perfect shoe for water crossings, they dried fast and I had NO blisters post race!!!

And now the probably most exciting news:

In May I will have two homes. Phoenix and Flagstaff. Flagstaff because I will once again return to NAU as a student for the accelerated nursing program. I still can't believe I got accepted, I am so super happy. 30 people every year get to start this 1 year BSN program. I am super excited about this :-)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My first Marathon - WINNING

It has been 3 weeks since my first marathon. I was inspired today by my friend Elliot to write a race report since he got his done 1 day after his marathon :-)

Anyways, 26.2 miles is fun. I can't wait to do it again. 

The marathon was on February 17th. That weekend had 2 Marathons in Phoenix, the Lost Dutchman marathon and the IMS marathon. I didn't really care which one I would race because both of them meant a long run :-) One was going east to west, one was going west to east. Tomato Tomato to me. I let my brother choose (his christmas present was an entry into a half marathon in Phoenix of his choice). He chose IMS :-)

Race preparation: 

I had 6 weeks to get ready for a marathon, including one week of taper. YIKES. Not the best idea I have ever had. 5 weeks (not including taper) is just not enough :-)

I did the following:

-increase my mileage from 40 miles a week to 60-70 miles a week (still low for marathon training but I wanted to avoid injury)
-increase my longest long run from 15 miles to 19, 19, 20 and 21 miles (I only had 4 weekends for long runs)
-believe in the power of adrenaline

The race:

Race morning consisted of an early morning wake up, a long drive across the valley and my first time sitting on a school bus!!! Observation of the morning was: there are no seat belts on a school bus. Is that safe?

We got dropped off at Verrado, time flew and we were ready to go. Off course all race plans went out the window once the gun went of. I averaged a fast pace, going through mile 13 in 1:23 hrs. I was shooting for a 1:30. But I kept thinking: this is free speed. I am going to hit the wall eventually so why not get a good cushion. YAY.

It was a lonely race and I luckily got to run with a person from mile 12-mile 16...unfortunately the course was not well marked and we lost a few seconds every time we went through neighborhood (due to people directing us from one side of the road to the other, sometimes to the sidewalk, sometimes through gates), also the turn arounds were not marked very well and we had to ask many times where to go. Trust me, I looked at the course on the map, but it is impossible to know all the turns. There were about 5 occasions where we had to yell an ask where to go...people had no we wasted seconds each time wondering where to go :-( And we all know that seconds add up to minutes...

Shortly after mile 13 the cones clearly went straight...and then we had no idea where to go until a lady from across a parking lot yelled to come to her. We had to jump a ditch, run through a dirt field and jump another ditch to get back on track. Oh well. Nothing we could do about it at that point, but it was a little disappointing because our finishing time was affected by this.

At mil 19 I started not to feel so hot anymore. Tiredness had taken over...not my body...not my legs...BUT MY ARMS. My explanation: the lack of long runs left my small muscles weaker then the big deltoids = small muscles, therefore they were hurting like someone punched me with a knife or nails (not sure who that feels actually). I had to do the thing I dislike the most in a race: STOP RUNNING.

I had to stop to stretch my deltoids :-( Not once, not twice, but about 4 times. On a good note: my legs felt fresh and fantastic!!!

Elliot gave me the advice today to shake out your arms regularly...Elliot, next time please bombard me with advice BEFORE the race :-)

I finished in 2:57 or 3:01, depending on what results list you look at :-) I much prefer the 2:57 :-) But I am a big fan of the truth and the truth is my Garmin showed me 3:00:11 for the 26.2 miles. And that is what I go by.

(I am not a big fan of all the athletes who make up times and results that are not accurate ;-)

I was disappointed that there were so many time consuming misguidance problems on the course, but I was the happiest person in the world at that point because I had just WON. In my FIRST ever marathon, after 5 weeks of training. WHOHOOOO. When I registered for the race I didn't even know if I could finish this distance. Now I want to do another one. I licked the Marathon blood :-)

Post race:

Everything below my deltoids felt great and I took one day off and then returned to some light jogging on Tuesday.

I can't wait to do another one of these!!! Next time with at least 10 weeks of training and a BUNCH of long runs :-)